Stunning photos and stories of Maine island kids

From the stunning photos to the comments and stories from the kids, My Island by Patrisha McLean gives us wonderful portraits of Maine island children. This book is a real treasure.

Patrisha McLean has been leaving her Camden home for many years to photograph children living on the Maine islands of Isleboro, Vinalhaven, and North Haven. Her images capture these kids in all their glory. The powerful stare from the girl on the book’s cover will draw you right into the book.

But even better, Patrisha presents the thoughts and stories of these amazing kids. Here’s an example: “Me and my friend Joe made a restaurant. We found all kinds of seaweed and rocks and stuff. Rocks were money. Seaweed goes inside the burger and the sand is the bun.”

Yup, island kids have great imaginations!

It’s no surprise that this book was a finalist for the 2016 Maine Literary Awards.

When you see the photographs, you will know that these kids trusted Patrisha in a profound way. Wait ‘til you see 3-year-old Anthony’s photo with his pet South American squirrel. And 9-year-old Levi, all dressed up for a ferry ride.

And 16-year-old Virginia, who fishes alone on her own boat. “I like to fish alone,” she says. “It works for me when there’s no one in the way. I like to see what I’m catching and measure everything that comes on board, because I don’t trust the stern man. I like that I’m my own boss. I can come in when I want, haul when I want. It’s like a game you get paid to play.”

12-year-old Mike’s fishing stories are great too, about mackerel, Pollock, and big eels. He started working when he was 10, filling up bait bags, spending his money on Lego sets.

And I guarantee that when you see 7-year-old Sammy’s goodbye wave at the end of the book, you’ll lift your own arm to wave at her, and immediately go right back to page one and start your way through this book a second time.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.